Day 39: Ecclesiastes 7:23-24

Solomon said, “I will be wise,” but even as wise as he was, he could not understand everything. “I said, ‘I will be wise’; but it was far from me. As for that which is far off and exceedingly deep, who can find it out?”

About two-thirds of the way through Ecclesiastes, Solomon concedes that some things in life just cannot be understood, no matter how hard someone strives to learn them. Up to this point, Solomon has spoken about the vanity of life and offered some general principles about life just as he did in Proverbs. He now reminds his readers that he doesn’t know everything, and he also gives a preview of the book’s conclusion…too much study is wearisome to the flesh. Read Full Post

Day 38: Ecclesiastes 7:21-22

Shame on us if we ever underestimate the power of words, whether spoken, inscribed, texted, or typed. But we often forget how significant words are until they effect us. It’s easy to speak an idle word or give a command with far-reaching implications, but when an idle word or command (or any other category of words) impacts me, that’s when I begin to understand it. Read Full Post

Day 37: Ecclesiastes 7:19-20

“Wisdom strengthens the wise more than ten rulers of the city. For there is not a just man on earth who does good and does not sin.”

“Wisdom strengthens the wise,” just as muscle strengthens a body-builder or money strengthens the rich. But I think it may be more than just quantity that generates strength. Read Full Post

Day 36: Ecclesiastes 7:15-18

These verses talk about both the unfairness of life, but also the importance of living righteously and wisely despite the disparity that exists.

Verse 15 says, “There is a just man who perishes in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man who prolongs life in his wickedness.”

So true, so true. Many godly people die at an early age while extremely wicked people live long. But the opposite is always true. But it still seems unfair how some people die young after living godly lives while others do damage in the world and live to be old. Read Full Post

Day 35: Ecclesiastes 7:13-14

Another reminder of the sovereignty of God. There is no way to change what God does or “correct” Him. “For who can make straight what He has made crooked?” (7:13) “In the day of prosperity be joyful.”

Day 34: Ecclesiastes 7:11-12

“Wisdom is good with an inheritance, and profitable to those who see the sun. For wisdom is a defense as money is a defense, but the excellence of knowledge is that wisdom gives life to those who have it.”

Both money and wisdom are desirable and powerful. It is not ideal to just have money; wisdom and discretion for how to use it are just as important. Wisdom is especially good for those who have a right perspective on life, “those who see the sun.” Read Full Post

Day 33: Ecclesiastes 7:8-10

Even though I took verses 8 and 9 individually, I think I need to include those verses again with verse 10 when I look at it.

The entire excerpt of Ecclesiastes says, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, For anger rests in the bosom of fools. Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this.” Read Full Post

Day 32: Ecclesiastes 7:9

“Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.”

So I’m wondering if Solomon is saying this from his database of wisdom or if it comes from a reflection on a life full of anger. I’m not sure. Of course he wrote similar things in Proverbs, but the context of Ecclesiastes comes from personal experience, so perhaps Solomon struggled with anger on multiple occasions. Read Full Post

Day 31: Ecclesiastes 7:8

I wasn’t planning on looking at only this one verse, but it has so much meaning in it that I decided to meditate solely on it today. It says, “The end of a thing is better than its beginning.” Now when Solomon says that, I immediately recall all the times when he talked about death being better than birth. But other thoughts come to mind too. Read Full Post

Day 30: Ecclesiastes 7:5-7

After taking a break from Ecclesiastes for two weeks to focus on missions-related passages (leading up to and during Missions Conference here at Faith), I’m ready to jump back into this book. I left off at Ecclesiastes 7:4, so I will pick up right where I stopped…

Today I’m focusing on verses 5 and 7: “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools…Surely oppression destroys a wise man’s reason, and a bribe debases the heart.” Read Full Post